Second Amendment rights need to be protected

State Sen. Barbara Favola (D-31st) has recently announced her intention to require a study of the cost and feasibility of a firearms registry in Virginia. Her proposal should be recognized for what it is and steadfastly opposed.

In addition to being unlawful under federal law, such a firearms registry would not address the issue Sen. Favola uses to justify its existence. Most importantly, a firearms registry is only the first step in restricting the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Any restriction compromises our liberty and safety as individual citizens, and compromises our collective security.

Our Founding Fathers, understanding the wisdom and necessity of our right to bear arms, enshrined that right in the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. That right is also protected by the Constitution of Virginia. Every branch of government – judicial, legislative, and executive — has reaffirmed that right.

The Senator’s attempt to commit taxpayer dollars to the study of a patently illegal firearms registry is disturbing. Her baseless supposition that “a registry could help the state identify where and why gun violence is prevalent and potentially whether there should be more restrictions in areas of heavy crime” is even more troubling. If gun violence is the Senator’s true concern, she would do well to tailor her legislative agenda to the criminals committing gun crimes, rather than seeking to curtail the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.

This proposal, even if it could get past the illegality of a firearms registry and our rock-solid Second Amendment rights, is merely a smoke screen for a transparent attempt to restrict Second Amendment rights. As a citizen, I will strongly resist any attempt to limit my Second Amendment rights. As Sheriff, I will always do everything within my official power and discretion to see that our constitutional rights, including those rights under the Second Amendment, are protected.

Law-abiding citizens will see this measure for what it is, and should declare their opposition to any attempt to limit their freedoms. If not, our safety and security will be compromised.

Scott H. Jenkins

Sheriff, Culpeper County